The party’s over… literally

“The party’s over” is a popular expression to describe a real estate boom gone bust. It’s the market that follows a bubble boom — one of falling prices and declining demand. What it isn’t is a call to end all parties. Just because the party’s over doesn’t mean you cancel your party.

The REBGV didn’t get the memo. They’ve gone ahead and canceled their 2009 conference and trade show. Due to “economic conditions”, the industry can’t bring itself to have a good time. Yet in a move I call “pulling a V6A”, the REBGV isn’t notifying the public. If it weren’t for a news story by Derrick Penner, we’d know nothing about the conference shutdown.

At last check, the 2009 conference website is still running, complete with details on the “great benefits” of becoming a sponsor. There’s a full agenda including a three-and-a-half-hour activity labeled “Fun Night on the Trade Show Floor.” Too bad the party’s canceled because that activity sounds awesome. In my book, it’s an invitation to show up in my “The Blogger Was Right” t-shirt with my dogs Case and Shiller. I’m devastated this can’t happen now.

PR advice to the REBGV: It’s good to update your website and news releases when news goes public. Just a thought.

Hat tip to the now-defunct Vancouver Condo Info. Thanks for all your hard work, Pope. You will be missed.

68 Responses to “The party’s over… literally”

  1. Lothian Vasquez Says:

    I think the daze of celebratory galas and such for the real estate glitterati and aparatchiks are indeed over.

    What will be next is “benefits” for the collapse in housing prices now besetting residents of Van West, and worse, West Van. In fact, I hear there are now FOOD BANKS opening up in both those areas to serve home debtors who simply won’t give up the ghost on their houses, but who can not meet mortgage payments, as many self employed and small business owners feel the pinch in places like their grocery tabs.

    In fact rumour has it one very well known real estate broker will be the key sponsor of a West Van (on Braeside, I hear) food bank. Wonder how long they will be able to afford THAT act of “giving back”? 😉

  2. Happy Renter Says:

    No kidding. I noticed that my realtor neighbor has traded in her Porsche for a well-used Cadillac. I bet she’s stocking up on Mr. Noodles…

  3. other ted Says:

    Vancouver condo info has shut down. This really sucks. CondoHype I hope your site picks up the slack. Just when things were getting interesting. He stated REGBV had some issues with content on his site. I wish he could elaborate. what business do they have with any content on his site.

  4. Sad lurker Says:

    Yeah, I’d share a laugh over this one, but the REBGV thugs appear to have gotten to your source, vancouvercondo.info, and applied some screws. Shame to see it go.

  5. Bill Smith Says:

    What happened to vancouvercondo.info, was a lawsuit threatened that made them shut the site down?

  6. Larry Yatkowsky Says:

    During my time away practicing the re-opening the Red Sea all hell breaks loose. My condolences to the Pope.

    Long tooth experience suggests that “IF” the board was in some way involved in Vancouver Condo’s demise I suggest it would be a legal matter of significance. This is supposition on my part. To my knowledge, facts are unavailable and there does not appear to be open discussion on the relevant issue should one exist.

    As a Realtor and member of REBGV this is NOT put forward to the readers herein as a defence or as encouragement of any action the board may take or has taken. Rather, it is to be understood that any action on the part of the board would proceed only if legally, it was in some manner, perceived to be significantly detrimental to the board and it’s members. Simply stated, it takes a lot to make the board or the members it represents, cranky.
    @ Sad lurker… stating that we are thugs is a beginning to that type of slippery slope!
    just sayin….

  7. condohype Says:

    I encourage everyone to share their thoughts about what they liked best about Vancouver Condo Info. For the moment, let’s reserve judgment about the concerns of the REBGV and take the opportunity to say nice things.

    Personally, I’m gonna miss my routine of checking Pope’s site every morning where I was always sure to find a list of interesting news stories and analysis about Vancouver real estate.

  8. other ted Says:

    I loved the fact that it was one of the few forums people with different view points could engage with one another in a non censored environment. Plus I love the fact that all of us at one time have felt the social pressure to buy in this insane market and have resisted. Now that we have been proven right I was hoping it would be there to read others views and stories.

  9. Brittanny Originals Says:

    Vancouver Condo Info. I smell a rat. WTF? I will contribute to your defense, as I am sure many others will as well.

  10. other ted Says:

    I have to agree Brittanny if REBGV is suing him I would contribute but I just don’t buy it. I think they must have bribed him. And I don’t blame him if he took a pay off. Seriously there is nothing on the blog they could sue for. Nothing.

  11. John Says:

    The thing is, the blog could just have outlived it’s usefulness. I discovered VHB, then vancouvercondoinfo, then greaterfool at a time when I was thinking of buying but needed back-up for my view that prices simply couldn’t go up anymore – a view I couldn’t get in the MSM. (I discovered this blog late but kept reading as I enjoyed the ads being ripped apart.)

    These blogs probably saved us thousands of dollars as I was under great pressure form my better half to buy last year.

    However, now the bubble HAS burst. Prices ARE going to fall for quite a while and fall hard. And FINALLY the MSM has picked up the ball (or started to). So these blogs have kind of outlived their usefulness and reason d’etre. While it is fun to read them and be proved right day after day, the global economic crisis facing us all makes it kind of a bitter-sweet feeling IMO. Gloating for long is not healthy and now that we all know KNOW for sure we’ll be able to buy places in Vancouver if we want to in a couple of years, we may as well talk about something else. Maybe that’s what the bloggers like the Pope thought. Or maybe he was just threatened with a lawsuit!

  12. T-1000 Says:

    Count me in, if VCI needs contributions for a legal defense fund.

  13. Vansanity Says:

    My coffee doesn’t taste the same this morning. I’m at a loss. Cheers to Pope, loved the site. Re: REBGV’s involvement – What happened to Freedom of Speech? Something stinks, right after Rennie’s new mantra of “change the subject” at dinner parties… the blogs have a target on their back, what a joke! They’ve got every media outlet in their back pocket, we have the blogs… and they’re scared? Gimme a break.

    Let’s keep the drum beating, shall we. BoC cut interest rates 75bps this morning, saying Canada is in recession. Also, I read on the news ticker that an RBC report is out saying that BC RE is still the most inflated in Canada. I can’t find a copy of the report yet, so no link.

  14. John Says:

    “the blogs have a target on their back” – I’m not sure you can shut down blogs unless you have a very good reason! This isn’t China. I return to my original view that real estate is inherently boring. It’s only the bubble that made it interesting. Now the bubble’s burst, real estate will be boring again as post after post of links proving what we already know – prices are falling – until the market gets back to affordable levels will get dull after a while. A life lived watching real estate go up and down is not a life well lived.

    Now that I know I’ll probably be able to afford a house in my lifetime after all, I want a blog with advice on coping during a recession….. http://www.surviverecession.info anyone?

  15. squidly77 Says:

    count me in if money for a legal challenge is required
    i am so sick of the realtor thugs and young punks

  16. paul Says:

    I tried to find a local media referance to the Bosa Brothers 1169 unit 6 tower condo project in White Rock downtown being shelved ( as mentioned in the ROB article I posted), not a peep. It feels to me that the local media appartchiks are circling the wagons trying to manage The Message. They think we’re stupid it seems and are out to try and prove it. BoM says we’ll experiance a cyclical change, not a US style repricing in real estate. Even if that it is spinning the message softly we’re still looking at an average 6.6 year cycle which takes us straight down unti we trough in the 2013 to 2015 timeframe. It’s like they’re saying “OK, it’s cyclical, but don’t look at the actual numbers”. How Machiavellin in misdirection.

  17. bdk Says:

    Geez, no vancouvercondo.info

    I know at least two current members of the board and they wouldn’t be concerned about real estate and are happy to discuss, and sometimes agree, with my jumble of statistics that I throw at them.

    Hopefully the Pope will change his mind, or someone else here could relaunch it?

    If the Board is really threatening them it would be an Olsen on your Side story, no?

  18. bdk Says:

    sorry, the board members I know wouldn’t care about a blog and would probably refer to it as a “chat room”

  19. greg Says:

    Maybe it was the wiki and the quote tracker. If so, shame on you REBGV. All those quotes were sourced to the MSM!

  20. Rado Says:

    Langley Financial Planning is donw too!?
    http://langley-financial-planning.blogspot.com/

    “Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name langley-financial-planning is available to register!”

  21. realanalysis Says:

    I am moving my blog http://langley-financial-planning.blogspot.com to Housing Analysis – http://housing-analysis.blogspot.com

  22. bdk Says:

    Has Langley Financial Planning been shut down now too?
    The site is blank.

  23. The Pope Says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the support guys – it’s not as bad as some of the speculation, and partly john is right – I’ve been wondering how long I want to continue with the site. The issue that the REBGV brought up was a minor one that I addressed immediately, but it was a catalyst to my thinking that maybe its the best time to close the site.

    To be clear: There is no lawsuit and the REBGV did not ask that I close the site, I did that of my own volition. Here’s the correspondence that led me to this decision:

    ————————————
    FROM: xxxxxxx@rebgv.org
    RE: Identification of site management

    To Whom It May Concern:

    We are requesting that site management for Vancouvercondo.info please identify themselves and forward their contact information as such. We currently have some concerns with language posted on this website and would like to take the opportunity to clarify the information appropriately.

    xxxxx xxxxxxx on behalf of xxxx xxxxxxxx
    xxxxxxx, [department]
    The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

    ————————————
    REPLY
    FROM: Vancouver Condo Info

    Please email any clarifications or concerns, or post them in the comment section on the site. Readers are responsible for their own comments, but we would be more than happy to post any information or statements from the REBGV that helps to clarify or correct any incorrect speculation or misinformation that you are aware of.

    Thanks!

    ————————————
    FROM: xxxxxxx@rebgv.org
    RE: Identification of site management

    Further to our request it would be appreciated if site management would identify themselves appropriately. It is not regarding member comments but specifically a graph posted with the title “REBGV Benchmark House Price 2008”. This is not a graph produced nor endorsed by The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Prior to sending a cease and desist regarding the language via our Legal staff, if the matter can be resolved internal it would be preferred.

    Thank you in advance.
    xxxxx xxxxxxx on behalf of xxxx xxxxxxxx

    ————————————
    REPLY
    FROM: Vancouver Condo Info

    Thank you for clarifying your concern. That title relays the data being graphed, as reported by numerous news outlets, not any form of endorsement by the Board. To make sure there is no confusion about that fact, we would be happy to modify the graph and propose the following:

    1 – Changing the header title to “Vancouver Benchmark House Price 2008”
    2 – Adding a disclaimer to the bottom of the graph: “*image neither produced nor endorsed by the REBGV.”

    If you have a preferable modification to the graph, please advise and we will try to accommodate as quickly as possible. If we are not permitted to create a graph of the REBGV benchmark numbers as released in the monthly report and reported through local newspapers and television stations, please let us know.

    Thanks!

    ————————————
    FROM: xxxxxxx@rebgv.org
    RE: Identification of site management

    Further to the changes as outlined below which we expect to be implemented immediately, we also request that the phrase “The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has released their November 2008 stats package and the Benchmark prices are still plummeting. Here’s the stats package (pdf) and here’s the graph for the benchmark house price so far this year:” as posted above the graph be removed, as it is misleading that the graph is produced and distributed via our statistical package.

    In lieu of any contact information being forwarded as requested this email will serve as notification with respect to our requests and will be kept on file and further forwarded to our legal department.

    [[email copied to domain registrar]]

    ————————————
    REPLY
    FROM: Vancouver Condo Info

    No problem, that phrase has been removed from the post in question and the graph has been modified as discussed to clarify that it is neither created by nor endorsed by the REBGV.

    The alterations can be found at the following URL:
    http://vancouvercondo.info/2008/12/nov-2008-benchmark-house-price-drops-again.html

    If you are not seeing the change your browser may have cached an old version of the page and you’ll need to hit refresh to see the current version.

    If you have any other concerns please let us know, and we’ll do what we can to address them.

    Have a great day!

    ———————————–

    That was the extent of my communication with the board, as you can see, the issue was dealt with and the problem was solved. I decided later to close the site, because I don’t have a legal department, and whether they have a legitimate issue or not, I don’t care to deal with any other issues like this.

    I look forward to housing in Vancouver becoming affordable for families, sincerely thank everyone who took part in the discussion (thats the part of the site I’ll miss the most) and wish everyone the best of luck!

  24. snatchamoto Says:

    I’d be sad to see you go, Pope. You as well as a few other diligent bloggers (you know who you are) are the reason that I’m currently okay financially and will undoubtedly save me 100-300K in the the next few years. I therefore REALLY appreciate all the hard work, and if you keep on going that’s great. If not, thank you very, very much. If I ever see you in a pub, beers are on me…….

  25. dingus Says:

    Nice job with the exchange Pope. Very well handled. And I empathize — who needs this level of BS.

    Perhaps readers who now have some free time could contact REGBV about the fact that their legalistic approach to has led to a very popular real estate blog closing, and let them know how this has an impact on what potential clients who frequented the blog think of realtors.

    http://www.rebgv.org/forms/contact

  26. Jordan Says:

    @ Pope

    I *STILL* don’t understand why a blog would be deleted instead of left up for prosperity. I’m sorry to say it, but VHB set a horrible trend.

    Ok so if you’re not interested in the blog anymore, that’s sad and unfortunate for the rest of us. But it doesn’t cost you anything to run, it doesn’t take any time to simply close it down, turn off the comments and let it sit. Couldn’t you have asked if maybe someone else would be interested and able in continuing to run the blog?

    Is there some vindictive reason why it has to be removed? You are anonymous, if you abandon it it’s not like the lawyers will come and get you. It is a useful resource that had contributions and comments by a lot of other people which you’ve also destroyed in a way.

    I’m pretty sad the site is gone. I found the blog/site incredibly useful to find relevant articles from the mainstream media that I could then provide to friends and family. Not to mention all of the reader ideas and comments. It would be nice to have a history to look back on. How can we look back and laugh at Dave’s hilarious predictions now?

    I might just be a mostly silent reader/lurker and I don’t mean to sound like an ingrate, but don’t be VHB. Bring the site back online and then close it down if you so wish.

  27. buff_butler Says:

    You know what would be a good MSM story: “REBGV strong arms local blogs into shutting down.” Good to know their true colors have come out.

  28. Tony Danza Says:

    However, now the bubble HAS burst. Prices ARE going to fall for quite a while and fall hard. And FINALLY the MSM has picked up the ball (or started to). So these blogs have kind of outlived their usefulness and reason d’etre.

    You’d be surprised how many Vancouverites have no idea the carnage our RE market is headed for. Many people are just waking up to the fact that perhaps we do have a bubble and a blog like VancouverCondo.info could serve as a valuable education for them. Although if they’re just figuring out that it’s a bubble now they’re probably too far gone to be saved!

  29. patriotz Says:

    It is utterly ludicrous and the height of arrogance and stupidity for REBGV to claim that a graph that accurately reproduces their own publicly released statistics is in any way is injurious to them.

    I’m sure Mish would relish posting the graph and daring REBGV to take him in the US courts. If I’d saved a copy I’d email it to him.

  30. greg Says:

    Patriotz –

    you can still access the graph in Google cache.

  31. Warren Says:

    It’s a slippery slope patriotz. If you’re using their data to make your own graphs, you should really take their name out of the title, and give credit elsewhere.

    You’ll notice the banks, UBC, etc do something similar when preparing economic reports and analysis.

  32. Vansanity Says:

    David vs. Goliath. VANOC vs. Olympia Pizza. REBGV vs. the blogs.

    It is rediculous. I suppose we take this as another sign of real fear for what’s coming. Those charts have been around for quite a while. When those charts were showing prices climb, there wasn’t a word from REBGV, was there? Now that the signals don’t look so good, they want to try and surpress the message. It’s unethical in my opinion.

  33. squidly77 Says:

    so will REBGV open there books to public scrutiny
    or are they top secret and *owned* by REBGV

  34. Bill Says:

    perhaps VHB will serve as a martyr..

    I for one will NEVER use a realtor “professional” for future deals. Id rather put up with the pain of welist/craigslist/etc then give them my money.

    bah humbug.

  35. montery Says:

    Well, quite the turn of events for a rainy Tuesday Morning!

    Pope, thanks for all your efforts on your site. You had taken some creative measures to enhance the interaction (ie, star ratings) and I think the community will miss that the most.

    On the other hand, there is real estate talks, but I am concerned about possible censorship over there. Maybe it’s unfounded, but it’s just one of those naggly little feelings I have.

    Condohypester, I hope you take this as an opportunity to change direction on your site. You were considering before to shutdown now that RE in Vancouver is cratering. Perhaps you can take the banner and show the city exactly how it’s cratering. That’s not nearly as fun as watching a bubble pop, granted, so there may not be much personal interest there.

  36. Many Franks Says:

    Woah back, everyone — the REBGV had a minor-though-anally-retentive request, Pope saw no problem with it and complied. It sucks that he’s decided to shut the blog down, and we’ll miss him, but the lawyers aren’t exactly knocking at his door. I think the REBGV request was just a small part of his decision and it’s a decision we’ll have to respect.

    It’s unnecessary to reach so far for reasons to chastise the board when they’ve provided so many good, well-documented ones of their own accord.

    I will second the suggestion that the blog be archived somewhere, though; it would be a shame to lose so much good content. And Pope, please stick around; we’d miss your commentary otherwise.

  37. arbitrage Says:

    Well, since i can’t say it on the condoinfo site – thanks the Pope for keeping things running as long as you did.
    And, uh, Thanks Condohype for staying on. You too Mr. Housing Analysis.

    Condoinfo’s forum still seems to be running:
    http://vancouvercondo.info/forum/

    It’s nice since it isnt websensed (like RET).

  38. macchiato Says:

    Some of that language the REBGV is using it way over the top, Pope was receptive and willing to make adjustments, yet there is some strong arming in there.

    If REBGV went any further, they could end up looking pretty bad. Interesting to know as well that some of their people are paying attention.

  39. paul Says:

    It appears that a sleazy strongarm tactic scared off an honest blogger. I asked a lawyer about this and his advice was to tell them to ” F- Off”, verbatim, I never heard him say this before. It appears to have upset this pillar of the legal community. He told me that they would never take a community forum content site to court. They would expose their entire operation to open public scrutiny, let alone the cost. My friend and lawyer say’s ” F-’em, and he’s one of the most powerful voices in the legal community and I assume he knows of which he speaks. Pope you let yourself be cowed unnecessarily it appears. Ask for a Statement of Claim next time. That will shut them up. I am not a lawyer and don’t give legal advice but I wouldn’t be cowed by those malcontents. I doubt anyone would show up for the Disclosure and Discovery and let you expose them.

    Now on the lighter side, did you read Campbells comments on building 6 story mid-priced wood framed condo’s for young families with the unemployed construction workers in BC in a reworked NEW DEAL. This mornings Province, I swear I need a diaper, I’m laughing so hard. Migrant workers , no longer needed in the BC economy made a permanent subsidy by the BC taxpayer. ‘Scuse me I think I pooped in my pants. What are all these low priced wood framed condos going to do the currently existing unsold inventory that the desperado’s of the developer/advertiser syndicates are trying to flog? Premier Campbell, you don’t know jack about economics 101. Lesson #1, Page 1 Supply and Demand. Go ahead and sue me, even better threaten me.

  40. mflst Says:

    Pope gone??? I’m extremely saddened. 😦

  41. mflat Says:

    I think you bloggers really need to band together, and get Paulb’s lawyer friend to give you an hour long primer on your rights of free speech. I envision this as a meeting of PaulB, his lawyer contact, Mohican, the Pope, and Condohype. One hour over coffee, some legal-eese language tutorials, and some group support.

    Don’t give up guys! Pope, don’t be bullied. This is exactly the type of behavior that we’ve been decrying for so long (bullying people into buying into the speculative hype). How can we so easily fold?

  42. paul Says:

    i’ve sent a copy of this file over to a consumer watchdog site. Why should we work? We just need to expose them publicly

  43. Brownstain Says:

    VANCOUVER CONDO BLOGS ALWAYS GO DOWN!

  44. dingus Says:

    You can contact REBGV at

    http://www.rebgv.org/forms/contact

  45. womp Says:

    As a website owner and having a career in web development, I’ll just say that the day you get your first cease and desist letter is the day you know you’ve got something good.

    If you haven’t gotten a cease and desist, you’re not in business 😉

  46. mk-kids Says:

    Pope, you and I and many others have been around a long time my friend and I am very sad to see you go!

    I for one think it completely reasonable that after so many years of diligently running an absolutely fantastic, honest, educational, first-rate and invaluable blog, you would decide to pack it in and pursue other pursuits. I know I don’t frequent the blogs as I used to but I’m sure happy to have them when I do want to see what the word on the street is at any given time. The amount of work required though to keep it going and interesting is a personal sacrifice you have made for many years and I thank you for it.

    I’m not a lawyer but I play one on TV (not, not really, but I do work in a field where I have to know a LOT of law & lawyers) and while I read that correspondence between you & REBGV I had a nasty knot start to form in my guts – it’s my “injustice” response. You were amazing I have to say & thanks for sharing it. The REBGV was ridiculous, a bully. The language & tone they used was threatening and really, who the heck wants to spend a lot of time & energy dealing with this sort of crap; as you said you don’t have a legal department! Heck man, you don’t even get paid!

    I would speculate that your shutting your blog is a happy ending indeed for them -a better than expected outcome. I just hope that isn’t the start of soemthing and that similiar tactics won’t be used against other folks in the Van RE Blogsphere to the same effect.

    Anywho, love ya Pope & thanks for the memories. Wishing the best of everything for you & the family. Come around and see us some time, won’t ya?

  47. Gadwin Says:

    Shame on the REBGV. Some of us do intend to do business with the REBGV once prices become more reasonable. However, their action makes you think twice about dealing with them if they are out there to “bully” and “strong arm” free speech.

    I would hope that they cease and desist with their bullying tactics as it’s apparent they are trying to censor free speech.

  48. john Says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again Vancouver condos are the best in the world. Everyone wants to live here. Yale town parties rule. SUVs are the best. Vancouver has it all. You can be downtown and still be only 10 minutes away from the best salmon fishing in the world. The number of imported beef jerky stores and gourmet peporoni stores are unsurpassed. Craft brewers abound. There’s no place like Yale town.

  49. blueskies Says:

    as Shakespeare said it:

    “First you kill all the lawyers.”

  50. jesse Says:

    This sounds like a trademark violation issue only. It is easy to clarify the graphs from this point on. I hope the new Housing Analysis blog adjusts its graphs accordingly and there should be no issue. Note REBGV is under a legal obligation to protect their trademarks. I don’t see conspiracy but I do see selective application when the graph’s data don’t look good.

  51. mohican Says:

    If the real estate boards come knocking at my door, I’ll tell them where to go. There is no legal reason for them to censure the content on any blog provided it is fact based and free from libelous comments.

  52. dingus Says:

    “Note REBGV is under a legal obligation to protect their trademarks.”

    It’s not that they asked him to clarify the source of graph, it’s the gratutitous “tell us who you are and if you don’t we will contact our lawyers, and we’re letting your server know” tone. Why do you need to know who the blogger is? To put on a statement of claim?

    You can protect your trademark (and I’m not clear that changing the graph has anything to do with trademark) without being an @sshole about it.

    At the end of the day, REGBV does not look good.

  53. paul Says:

    John, you need to get out more. I just came back from Hong Kong and prices are half what they are in Yaletown and the average sq footage is double. Vancouver is barely the size of a small suburb in Bangkok. London makes Vancouver look like Hillbilly Hollow. Have you never seen Paris, Rome, Shanghai? Need I go on? Vancouver is a strip mall not a city, no where close to a world class city. They have better weather in Helsinki for Gods sake!!!! But, if pepperoni makes your world complete I envy you. Your days must pass very pleasently.

  54. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    […] The party’s over… literally “The party’s over” is a popular expression to describe a real estate boom gone bust. It’s the […] […]

  55. Happy Renter in North Vancouver Says:

    I’m willing to write a cheque for any legal defense fund for Pope… If not us, then who, if not now, then when… Pope just say the word and I’ll help you set up a legal defense fund… I know lots of guys who would love to help you out…

  56. Bane Says:

    And the REGBV danced in the streets that night, firing their AK47s randomly into the rain…

  57. greg Says:

    Paul, I’ve seen all those places, well, not quite, haven’t been Shanghaid (yet). I don’t think the point is that Vancouver is some hick town. Looked at objectively, a reasonable case can be made that Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world.

    That being said, it’s too darn expensive. The problem isn’t with Vancouver so much, it’s the prices in Vancouver. And maybe the obsession with materialism amongst some of the inhabitants.

    Not to say the kool aid drinkers weren’t handed a cup of kool-aid at the same time they got their first chat about “world class”, but I don’t think Vancouver is all that provincial or “hick town”, really. Is “world class” really the objective of us all?

    My cousin lived in London for nine years and now calls Calgary home. Go figure.

  58. Ulsterman Says:

    I think people are getting carried away with the REBGV statements. All they did was ask him to change a chart and acouple of titles. They didn’t issue a cease and desist order. He made the changes and unless the Pope isn’t being straight with us there was nothing more to it.

    So long as you aren’t lying or infringing copyright etc you have the right to publish your opinion.

    I don’t agree with the sudden shutdowns. What does it achieve. The success of Pope’s blog relied as much, if not more so, on the willingness of us to visit and comment. Otherwise you are a lone guy in the wilderness. In my opinion the blogger owes something like basic courtesy to the commenters that have kept his hobby going for so long.

    Would it kill him to say “I’m tired of maintaining the blog / bored of it etc etc and i will close it at the end of the day/week/month. We’re not all going to curl up in the fetal position and bawl for a week or anything. We cn take it. I had exactly the same opinion of the glorious VHB. It was a pathetic way to quit.

    By the way, telling me to go start my own blog etc is simply missing the point.

  59. Condobarf Says:

    Ulsterman, for goodness sake give it a break. Pope got a not-very-thinly veiled threat from an REBGV lawyer to crush him in legal expenses with a nuisance lawsuit. Who is going to continue blogging after that?

    Such sleazy moves are a common way for ne’er-do-wells with fancy lawyers (like the REBGV) to shut down freedom of speech on the internet.

    The Pope owes us nothing and we are grateful for what he has done. It’s a shame the REBGV took the fun out of it but what else should we expect in this town? Standards of behaviour are very low in the Vancouver real estate business. The fact that the REBGV attacked the Pope is a badge of honour for the Pope!

  60. The Pope Says:

    In my opinion the blogger owes something like basic courtesy to the commenters that have kept his hobby going for so long.

    You’re right, I was exhausted after a long day of work and just thought “&#@* this blog!” without thinking through the impact on the many people who added comments and opinions – The readers that made the site what it is. For now I’ve reopened the blog and am considering my options, including the many offers for hosting and help that I’ve had.

    I don’t want to toss it all down the memory hole and I don’t want to pass it on to someone who will just use the traffic its built up to make a spam blog, so I’m currently considering my options. Cut me some slack on a rash decision and I’ll cut you some slack on not creating your own blog ok?

  61. Patiently Waiting Says:

    Pope, I just want to say thank you.

    Best of luck with whatever you do.

  62. How to lose friends and alienate people « condohype Says:

    […] the matter of the REBGV v. Vancouver Condo Info, the blogger posted a graph with a potentially confusing title — one that the board thought […]

  63. fefer Says:

    Pope, there’s nothing wrong with posting a couple of discrete Adsense ads on your blog.

    It’s ok to profit a little from your many efforts.

  64. Lothian Vasquez Says:

    The REBGV is having a Chinese Democracy moment, as in Tiananmen Square… they are desperate, and attempting, via superficially “reasonable” legalese, to put a chill on the housing bust bloggers.

    Screw them and their flagrant attempt to stifle free speech and take ownership of terms and conditions. They have no such right. They are effectively an arm of government, insofar as they are a monopolistic guild empowered by legislation.

    What was it Ghandi said? “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you WIN”.

    I hope Pope revives his excellent blog. Failing that, I hope Mohican and CondoHype pick ‘er up, and ‘May a Thousand housing bust blogs Bloom’ !!

  65. Pat Says:

    john and paul,

    Why does Vancouver have to be either a “world class” city or a “hick town” for many people? It’s a mid-sized city somewhat cut-off from the rest of Canada. Lots of accessible leisure activities, some nice views from certain angles and milder weather attract people to whom those things are important. If we’re going to make comparisons, compare it to the smaller European cities or Melbourne, Auckland and Portland and factor in some allowances for being much, much younger than almost every other city out there. Can we not just leave it at that and end this obsession with comparing it to London, Paris, Rome, New York…?

  66. condohype Says:

    Two days later, the trade show site is still up. They’ve taken the agenda offline — so long, Fun Night on the Trade Show Floor! — but there’s no confession that the convention is canceled.

  67. Ulsterman Says:

    Cut me some slack on a rash decision and I’ll cut you some slack on not creating your own blog ok?

    Fair point Pope. I’m very pleased that you have decided to turn your blog over to the community. I understand that the novelty must have worn off. As much as i like it, there were days when i skimmed through the comments with that “ho hum” sensation. I can only imagine how you must sometimes have felt. “Friday’s nearly here and i have to find 7 stories for the Free for All!”

    I think the lesson it has taught most of the commentators is that we cannot take the hard work of the bloggers for granted. Most of us here just assumed that yours would just continue forever.

    So, thanks for your graciousness and hard work. You really left your mark on the blogosphere. Cheers.

  68. REBGV cancels trade show website « condohype Says:

    […] Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has taken my advice and pulled the plug on its trade show website. It’s now no longer possible to become a […]

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